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Erynne H. Shatto, Ph.D.

Erynne H. Shatto, Ph.D.

Regent University’s adjunct professors are rigorously selected so that they help students grow in knowledge and faith. These professors, who teach on a contractual basis, must be dedicated to Christ-centered teaching and learning; have a record of or potential for academic scholarship; possess the ability to teach undergraduate-level and/or graduate-level courses, and embrace Regent’s Identity and Mission statements and subscribe to a statement of Christian faith.


Dr. Erynne Shatto’s dedication to psychology began from a desire to answer questions about human behavior. She wanted to understand discrimination, oppression, and why some people were resilient following trauma while others seemed irreparably changed. How does life find its way in the darkest corners and deepest tragedies? Initially, a master’s in clinical psychology and research in traumatic memory satisfied her intellectual curiosity, and working with low SES women with unplanned pregnancies satisfied her desire to help others. It was not until she began a master’s internship performing in-home and in-community interventions that she saw research and practice as interdependent.

After completing her master’s degree, Shatto practiced as a clinician, evaluator and supervisor while working with minorities, at-risk youth, the disabled, sexually reactive juveniles, and impoverished populations, in community, inpatient, and outpatient settings. Her clients consistently experienced social rejection, and her close work with them shaped her identity as a social justice advocate. It became clear to Shatto that this was a way for her profession to help her live out her Christian faith to show compassion, to be humble, and to minister to “the least of these.” As her work diversified by setting and role, she became more aware of the ecological treatment system. She was able to witness the factors consistent across successful and unsuccessful clinical interventions and why systemic changes failed or flourished. These experiences shaped Shatto’s use of a Bowen’s systems perspective and sparked a desire to affect systemic change gently, from the inside out.

This led Shatto to develop interests in program evaluation, supervision, and training to help others be competent and sensitive to the intersection of trauma, mental health and social inequality. She continued her education at the University of South Alabama’s clinical-counseling combined-integrated program because of its commitment to community-based intervention and partnerships, multidisciplinary collaboration, social justice research, and evidence-based practice. Her training provided opportunities to impact service through assessment, consultation, program development/evaluation and supervision. Through a trauma-informed approach, she has improved psychological services to youth in corrections, reformed service and policy at a child welfare treatment facility, and provided trauma-sensitive consultation and assessment for abused youth. It also allowed her to continue her professional identity as a Bowen Systems theorist, while integrating other concepts fluidly into its framework, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Interpersonal Process Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, as well as psychodynamic, humanistic, and mindfulness approaches. This integration results in a clinical freedom that prompts her to incorporate evidenced-based practice and look for practice-based evidence as she conducts therapy scientifically. This freedom also humbles her to use her social power as a therapist intentionally for positive outcomes.

Equally important to Shatto as a psychologist who values social justice issues is conducting research that helps others, such as program research that helps faith-based and child-focused agencies continue to reach their goals for outcomes and funding. As human services are being called to demonstrate positive outcomes and the use of evidence-based practice to secure funding, Type II translational research has become a fiscally necessary endeavor for many agencies. Type II translational research is a hybrid of program evaluation, implementation science, and prevention science which aims to enhance the adoption of evidence-based practice. This places evaluation research and its offspring – practice-based evidence – as critical components of evidence-based practice by bridging the gap between research and community clinics. Such research typically requires mixed methods research in which quantitative data can speak to large trends while qualitative data can give voice to those with unique perspectives who might otherwise be marginalized by quantitative methods alone.

These interests – evidence-based treatment, supervision, research, and training are ways that Shatto feels she can disseminate, or give the gift of psychology. Her excitement at being part of Regent’s Clinical PsyD program stems from the program allowing her to combine these interests into her work – Christian faith, interest in child psychology, trauma, and mixed methods research into a single endeavor – teaching and mentoring, which she loves. When she is not working on working, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and studying geneology.


Ph.D. Clinical Child Psychology, University of South Alabama
M.S. Clinical Psychology, Emporia State University
B.S. Psychology, Harding University